Review: Driftwood Tea Osmanthus Oolong

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Sophie’s Teaview Snapshot
Its OK"Those who like peach and apricot flavoured teas would do well to check this blend out. "
Sophie’s Teaview: 6.8/10
Other Teaviews: Samantha gave it 7.2/10
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driftwoodosmanthusoolongThis Taiwanese Jin Xuan or “milk oolong” has been scented with fresh osmanthus flowers. It promises soft and juicy stone fruit notes as well as a hint of natural creaminess. The rolled leaves have a sweet yet medicinal aroma, mixing the scent of dried banana chips, spring flowers and olive oil. It's an odd and not entirely appealing combination.

I brewed this tea using the directions provided on my sample's package for a European style cuppa, infusing 3g of leaf in 8 ounces of water heated to 90 degrees Celsius for 2 minutes. The pale amber cup smells fruitier than the dry leaf, but the aroma still seems strange to me. Taking a sip, the tea provides intense peach and apricot notes. It's actually much peachier than some flavoured blends out there. In that respect, this tea is pretty amazing. My least favourite element of the cup is the mineral finish. It has an almost bitter, dry edge to it. It fades substantially as the tea cools but I still wish it wasn't there at all.

I try a second brew, infusing the leaves for 3 minutes. The flavours are smoother and more evenly distributed across the sip this time. The tea also has a much thicker feel. Otherwise this cup is pretty consistent with the first.

I steep the leaves twice more for 4 and 5 minutes respectively. Both cups are quite similar to each other. The flavours are subdued but still fruity enough to pick out peach and apricot notes. No unpleasant element emerges as time goes by. I could probably get one more cup from the leaves if I was patient enough.

Reasonably priced, this leaf is definitely good value for the money. Those who like peach and apricot flavoured teas would do well to check this blend out. It isn't a favourite of mine in terms of Driftwood's catalogue, largely due to personal preference. I just can't seem to get over the olive oil scent to the leaves, but I could see myself purchasing this blend to round out an order.

— To purchase Driftwood Tea Osmanthus Oolong, or for more specific information on ingredients or the story behind this particular tea, click here to go directly to the manufacturer's web site.

Teaviews Member: Sophie Sophie
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